In a bid to promote tourism, the Maharashtra government has cleared a proposal to permit temporary shacks – similar to Goa and other international seaside destinations – on select beaches dotting the state’s long coastline. Also Read - Unlock 2.0: These Indian States Are Now Open to Tourists | Check List, Date, Conditions (But Stay at Home)

The decision for 8 beaches as a pilot project, was approved at a Cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, an official said here on Thursday. Also Read - Heavy Rains in Parts of Maharashtra in Next 24 Hours? IMD Issues Red Alert For These Districts

The project will be kickstarted with shacks coming up on beaches in Guhagar and Arevare in Ratnagiri, Kunkeshwar and Tarkarli in Sindhudurg, Versoli and Diveagar in Raigad, and Kelve and Bordi in Palghar district, said Thackeray. Also Read - COVID in Maharashtra Today: 1 Death Every 7 Minutes, 265 New Cases Every Hour

Those interested in putting up such temporary shacks can apply through the state tourism website for 2021 and the policy will be implemented in phases in other beaches.

With the approval of Maharashtra Coastal Area Management Authority, a licence for 3 years will be issued for the temporary/seasonal shacks on the land designated by the Department of Tourism.

For a non-refundable application fee of Rs 15,000 and refundable security deposit of Rs 30,000, an entrepreneur awarded the project can construct a maximum of 10 such beach shacks, each measuring 15×15 and 12 feet high, with a permissible 20×15 feet roof for protected seating arrangements.

The annual fee payable to the government for the shacks will be Rs 45,000 in the first year, Rs 50,000 the second year and Rs 55,000 in the final year of the contract.

While 80 per cent of the allotments will be reserved for locals to create jobs and there will be other conditions like timings from 7 am – 7 pm, sound limits, with CCTV cameras, etc.

Besides the state government has accorded in-principle approval to the policy of privatisation of properties owned by Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation Ltd (MTDC) for development of tourism-related projects.

In the first phase, it will include MTDC resorts at Matheran, Mahabaleshwar, Ganpatipule, Harihareshwar, Tadoba, Fardapur, for a limited period of sub-leasing with annual rents.